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For Sale By Owner: A Step By Step Guide For Unrepresented Sellers corey marie birger





first impressions


curb appeal


prepping for the sale


going the extra mile


showing the home




F S B O ' S


a few considerations


the paperwork dilemma


following up




realtor ramblings


contact me


Life series of twists and turns, the dawning of each new day welcoming those of us that love spontaneity as well as those of us that require checklists and stickynotes to make it through the day. Few undertakings prove more invigorating and challenging than the decision to sell your home on your own. Whatever it is that may have lead you into the real estate market, the adventure of listing your home yourself can be as exhilarating as it is terrifying. The goal of this short guide is to drop the breadcrumbs along the path to lead you successfully to the closing table, and provide answers to some of the questions you may be afraid to ask, or just simply don't know. I hope this guide helps you, and please know if you ever need anything, I am here to help, all my contact information is provided at the conclusion of my book. Kindest Regards, Corey Marie Birger Your Beach Therapist Coastal 850 Homes Team



The old saying "you never get a second chance to make a first impression", is as true in our professional life as it is in selling a home. Statistics show that most potential home buyers formulate their opinion of a home before even stepping out of their car. Imagine a buyer driving up to your home, but never stops for the flyer you conveniently provided at edge of the driveway, or doesn't snap a quick a picture of the phone number to call later. Approximately five million homes are sold in the United States each year and you want to be in that number, so where do you start? Well I'm glad you asked. Roll up your sleeves and lets get down to the nitty gritty to get your home sold.


CURB APPEAL Take a walk to the street and turn to face your home. Now, close your eyes and forget everything YOU love about your home and pretend you've never seen it before, open your eyes and what do you see? Do the trees and shrubs need to be trimmed? Did you notice the flower beds, or maybe the mulch or pine straw is faded and dull? Start at the edge of your property from the first blade of grass and work your way backwards to the front door. I'm not suggesting you spend hundred's of dollars on landscaping, but here are a few easy things you can do to make the home shine. Weed your flower beds, replace mulch or pine straw as needed Invest in a few seasonal flowers (use pots for easy placement) Paint the front door (or wash it!) Make sure the doorbell is working properly Wash the mailbox Powerwash the siding, driveway or brick Clean your porch and remember to keep it swept Get an attractive mat for people to wipe their feet Wash the windows inside and out Scrape and touch up any peeling paint Make sure lawn is mowed WD-40 is your friend for sticking windows, doors, and drawers


PREPPING FOR THE SALE Lets be honest, you're selling your home, with the understanding that you're moving, so what are you waiting for? There is no better time than the future to start packing. Basically, you want to paint a picture for potential buyers to see themselves in your home. Decluttering and packing up unneeded items can make a huge impact towards a sale. More tips: Most people are turned off by even the slightest odor. Odors must be eliminated, wash walls and let Febreeze or candles be your friends! If it has been over a year since the carpets have been cleaned, now is the time to do it; bare floors should be waxed or polished. Buyers like “bright” - so add bright lightbulbs and open windows (p.s. clean the blinds too) Clean out closets, cabinets, and drawers to create the illusion of space. People WILL look in every drawer and behind every door. Get clutter off of the floors and do not have anything piled on shelves. (pack, pack, pack) Make sure rooms are not overcrowded with furniture. By selecting your best pieces and storing the rest you showcase the space better Keep bathrooms and kitchen sparkling. This is NOT easy but is critical for the sale Tighten leaky faucets, doorknobs, and hinges. Clear off all countertops as much as possible. Pack and store NEATLY in garage (or better yet a storgage unit). Keep children’s toys out of yard, sidewalks, off porch. Clean ashes out of the fireplace Still with me? Keep reading for more!!


GOING THE EXTRA MILE Sometimes decluttering and cleaning aren't enough to keep up with your competition, if that is the case, its time to get serious. Often in order to be competitive sellers have no choice but to make key upgrades that help your home be more marketable and ultimately close the deal. Many buyers want a move in ready home and while each person has their own idea of "move in ready", here are our top picks to address if your home is outdated or needs some TLC.

Check your roof - it is the one of the biggest deterrents for buyers- contact a licensed roofer to perform an inspection to be sure you're in good shape, these are often free. Remember neutral colors help sell a home - if you love bright colors, its time to invite friends over for a paint party. Flat paint is best for living areas & bedrooms, uses a moisture resistant finish for bathrooms. Replace all outlet and switch covers to match Replace old carpet with trending flooring options Matching appliances -- while stainless steel is in, updated matching appliances in white or black are better than outdated mismatched ones Focus on fixtures: faucets, toilets door-handles and lights should be updated and match (or make sense) throughout the home. p.s. Another option is to reduce your price to and allow the new owner to do the remodeling. 7

SHOWING YOUR HOME How you LIVE in your home is completely different than how you MARKET your home. Because buying a home is an emotional decision, you want to create an experience for your potential buyers. From the moment they step out of their cars and through the front door, its showtime! Whether you have a showing scheduled, or an unscheduled drop in, here are the key items to prepare for the perfect experience. Keep pleasant scents in the house, such as essential oil diffusers, wax warmers, and candles, or cookies -- pleasant but not overpowering. Turn on all lights Make sure all window treatments are open Turn off the television Turn on soft music Keep pets out of the way, preferably out of the house. Many people are uncomfortable around animals, or may be allergic Remove or store all valuables and prescription drugs Step back and let them walk thru. It is difficult to allow a Buyer to look freely thru your home without feeling the need to explain of why you're selling but can also intimidate buyers if you follow them too closely. Leave the Q&A session for last Type up a list of updates, upgrades, property taxes etc to inform prospective buyers what you've done to take with them along with any home brochure or flyer you've made.



Knowing how to market your home is crucial. It takes more than a sign in your yard these days to sell a home. The majority of today’s home Buyers begin their search online and it is vital that the finest features of your home are demonstrated in the most professional and eye-catching fashion possible. Research indicates that homes with low quality photos or only exterior photos are often passed over. From photographs to video to the language used in the written description, your home should be marketed as the onenot Once you've properly marketed your home, its time to get familiar with the process, documents and jargon to seal the deal. At times, this process can seem impossible and overwhelming, so lets cover some of the ugly stuff involved in selling your home so you can have your home and your mind ready.


A FEW CONSIDERATIONS To begin we need to cover the thingss that you may or may not have considered. In life and in selling your home preparation is key, and knowledge is power. First and foremost: SAFETY: are you comfortable letting strangers in your home? Do you have proper, legal safety precautions in case of emergency? Be sure that potential buyers are qualified for a loan. It can be difficult to determine “lookers” from actual buyers, have a process for people before letting them in. Buyers ultimately determine the value and will want expect justification for your price, be sure you can supple reasonable comparable properties to prospective buyer. Be careful to price your home properly for the market AND for your needs. Majority of buyers work with a buyer agent, are you willing to pay a commission to a buyers agent? Follow up on all showings without them thinking you’re anxious, but serious about selling your home. Remember there are legal liabilities for any paperwork errors, if the buyer is part of the 90% of buyers using a Realtor, you will be negotiating against a professional, be ready by being prepared. Be prepared for frequent time away from work (or home or social schedules) on short notice for showings. Be ready to negotiate directly with a buyer if they are unrepresented. How will you handle missed opportunities when away from home if “lookers” stop by? Be sure and have flyers or invest in an autotext program to answer phone calls. Buyers often translate a "FSBO" to mean “desperate seller” this can attract bargain-hunter buyers who want the rock bottom lower price. Be ready to handle objections. Remember that 92% of prospective Buyers go to the internet first: are you advertising everywhere you need to be?


THE PAPERWORK DILEMMA If you're still reading this, that means I haven't scared you away yet! We need to go over the documents and paperwork you'll need to be familiar with to complete the transaction from start to finish. Use this section as a checklist, but remember depending on the type of financing, there may be additional documents required NOT listed here. Pricing the home correctly Take pictures and design and print brochures Write ads (that will rank on Google) Figure out where to publish ads List of completed repairs you’ve done on your home Supply reasonable comparable property prices Follow up on showings Make sure buyer is financially qualified Negotiate offer and options with potential buyer Write binding contract Write seller’s property disclosure Write lead-based paint disclosure (if applicable) Prepare counterproposal/negotiate (if applicable) Secure a title company or attorney for closing Deliver contract to title company by due date Document and deposit earnest money as required Ensure title work was ordered by due date Maintain contact with buyers lender (if applicable) throughout process Order mortgage payoff (if applicable) Meet inspector for inspection as requested by due date Get inspection repair estimates (if applicable) Meet inspection resolution deadline Send receipts to buyer and agent Develop closing cost estimates Order and track appraisal and check for any conditions for closing Continue to check with lender on loan progress Resolve any title disputes (if applicable) Schedule closing with all required parties Make sure closer has all necessary documents Review TRID forms Final walk-thru, move out and then closing day Things to consider: When do you have to give possession to buyer? What if it doesn’t close on time? Do you continue to show house once you have a contract? Can you take another offer? 11

THE FOLLOW UP Maybe you will get lucky and get an offer at the first walk thru or open house, but what happens if you don't, and weeks go by. How do you follow up with the buyers that have previewed or inquired about your home? Keep a notepad, sign-in sheet or computer spread sheet to keep up with your buyers, and make notes of when you called or emailed them or their agents, as well as any information that may help close the deal. Following up with the people walking thru your home is key to your sale, it may take three visits before they finally say yes, but you may never know if you don't ask! It may feel unnatural to ask someone what they think of your home, what if they didn't like it, how will you respond? Remember this is a business transaction for you, and an emotional transaction (generally speaking) for the buyer. You will need to detatch yourself from your home to follow up, this allows you to receive any criticism about your home without getting offended.


REALTOR RAMBLINGS I'm not here to talk you out of selling your home without representation, but I am here to help you out, step in if you need me, and most importantly -- SELL YOUR HOME. This can be done in a number of ways and all with your best interest in mind. Perhaps the paperwork is too much but you have a buyer, I am legally allowed to come in and strictly monitor the paperwork, this is often done for a flat fee. But lets suppose you decide its too much and need to list it traditionally what makes having an agent better than not? First of all, we will be sure to price your home correctly -- between you and me, Zillow is usually wrong, as your agent, I look at what the market trends are, the homes similar to yours that have sold, whats pending and what hasn't sold, to make sure you're home is priced competitively, while protecting your interests at the same time. We will include any out of pocket expenses and commissions to net you the most possible. A net sheet estimate will be provided prior to listing for your approval. Typically a Realtor already has buyers looking for homes but more importantly, I have am required by the state to be current on laws, ethics,document requirements and more to properly list and market your home to get it sold! Personally, I work with a network of Realtors are working with buyers who have seen what is currently on the market and are waiting for new homes to be listed. Beyond the MLS, I have multiple platforms, email marketing, social media networks, and other outreaches to market your home. When it comes to negotiations, as a licensed and experienced agent, I can be impartial, and often negotiate a more profitable contract because I am not emotionally involved. Imagine two children arguing over who's turn it is or over a favorite toy, a teacher or parent can step in an diffuse the situation usually quicker than the kids will work it out themselves. Now, I am not calling you OR a buyer a child, but without a skilled negotiator to help, Buyers and Seller often differ, neither one knowing when to stand firm or when to concede. Both are afraid of being cheated. As your agent, I can help you find the balance between highest and best price and fastest sale. 13

On behalf of the Coastal 850 Home Team, I wish you the best in the sale of your home. We will be keeping it on our list for any potential buyers, should you be willing to work with a buyers agent. At any time in the future, should you decide to list your home, it would be our highest privilege to interview for the opportunity to work with you and assist you in the sale of your investment. As a full-time Real estate Specialist it is my job to handle your home with care from listing day to the closing table and to get you the highest possible price. But mostly provide you with peace of mind and a stress free process so that the sale of your home moves as smooth as possible as you close out this chapter of your life. Thank you for taking the time to download and read our guide to selling your home. And remember, if it hasn't sold yet, don't lose hope, just take the steps to reach the family who doesn't know that your home is exactly the one they are dreaming of.

Connect With Me: Corey Birger 850-454-6693


Notes to-do & remember

Notes to-do & remember

Notes to-do & remember

Notes to-do & remember

Notes to-do & remember

Notes to-do & remember

Notes to-do & remember

Corey M Birger Coastal 850 Homes 2017 COPYRIGHT © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

For Sale By Owner: A Step by Step Guide  

Advice from a licensed agent to help you sell your FSBO and close this chapter of your life, and move on to the next.

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